First off, do you smoke cigarettes? Have you ever smoked cigarettes? If you are one of the lucky who used to smoke and quit (like me) then this first one is for you.
Yes. That's hot and smoking Rita Hayworth!
Japan is a smokers paradise. Japan is definitely not a good place to try to quit smoking cigarettes. At the radio station I sometimes work at, there is a huge smokers room inside the building right by the front door so that when you walk in you are greeted by a huge waft of second-hand, stale cigarette smoke. Great!
I've mentioned before that I love Cool and Strange music. This song and video is for all you ex-smokers out there (congrats) and all you losers who have considered smoking but don't have the balls to do so. Watch this video and see what the rest of us are laughing at you behind your back about. This is hilarious. I don't know anyone who didn't howl with laughter on this song!:
VIKINGS - NICOTINE
Ha! Ha! Ha! Keep on smoking!
The article I wrote on Lew Rockwell about my father's military burial was very warmly received. In two days, I've received about 150 emails. All but three of those were positive in their reaction. The most satisfying part of that is that almost all of the mail, I'd say well over 90%, was from former US military and combat vets.
Please refer to Used by the State, Even in Death:
I’m sorry. Dad, I love you and I am proud of you, but you didn’t go to war in Korea to protect our freedoms; you went to war over there to further US economic interests and the US empire. That you never figured that out in your lifetime is sad. But, I hope that you are in a better place and have had the chance to speak directly with a former US marine general by now.
It was satisfying to get so much praise. It is sad, though, that one guy really keep hammering at me. He said he was a combat vet and this was our discussion after the first mail where he claimed that US troops were protecting American freedoms in Korea. He wrote:
Just ask yourself how you would be faring in South Korea if the North Koreans would have won the war. Now all the South Koreans would be sharing in the "joy/gulag" that the enemies of mankind have foisted upon their people in the North.... Now, let's see, how did the US soldier protect our freedoms in Korea-apparantly (sic) the South Koreans aren't considered a part of mankind according to your vision of the world..
I answered back:
Where in the US constitution does it say that America's sons and daughter have to fight and die for Koreans? Did Americans fight for independence in the revolutionary war so that our flesh and blood could be spilled for foreigners?
You write; "Now, let's see, how did the US soldier protect our freedoms in Korea?" Yes. Let's answer that. I say that there were NO AMERICAN FREEDOMS PROTECTED IN KOREA.
Your comments are a mass contradiction.
You say, "apparantly (sic) the South Koreans aren't considered a part of mankind according to your vision of the world.." (I think we have a terminology problem here. I think there is a BIG difference between "mankind" and "American" in the dictionary.)
You criticize communism, yet you sound like one. Lenin once said, "All people, in all nations, are considered equal and are provided for equally, regardless of their contributions to the economy or to society."
My opinions follow in the footsteps of true Americans like George Washington who said, "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.... Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Or how about Thomas Paine? "Free trade with all and military alliances with no one."
The sad thing is, though, I don't want to fight with him. That he can't logically argue his positions and resorts to name calling shows that he probably suspects that I am right; I think he knows that he was used by big Wall Street bankers in the Korean War (or any US war since 1812) and, if he admits it to himself, he realizes that so much of his youth was wasted.
I mention often that time cannot be wasted. It is the only non-renewable resource.
That being said, I don't want to hurt his feelings. Alas, I wish I could grow up to become a wiser person someday and be able to write better so that it doesn't hurt people's feelings... But that is a contradiction too!
Yesterday's blog about being timely might have hurt someone's feelings too... Yes, when I write about these things I am usually emotional about it. I'm trying to be that way. I want people to like my writing or hate it. No in-betweens and, therein lies the contradiction:
How to be a good writer? I can't remember who said it but it's true, "When you try to please everyone, you wind up pleasing no one!"
In my confused vision of things, I believe that if you want to become a popular writer then you need to make something bigger than just waves... You need to pull at heartstrings and create strong emotions; it's okay if those emotions make people dislike the writer.
Comes with the territory I suppose... But hurting people's feelings isn't my intent. If it were, I'd name names.
Rose in my garden
Finally, something very strange came across my desk for you folks who are interested in the economy and, well, having a job! (And who isn't interested in that?) The SEC in the USA (you know, the guys who are supposed to regulate the Stock Market but instead watch porn on their computers?) seem to have tipped their hand that they are expecting a stock market crash soon.
Well, I do expect a stock market crash. I think this summer in Europe, Japan, the USA and China are going to be very rough!
Anyhow, the SEC has changed the rules on stopping Dow trading in the event of a sudden drop in price. Years ago, the automatic trading would stop if there were a 30% drop; then they changed it to 20%; then 10% and, on Friday, they changed it to 7%!!! By the way, history has shown that after they change the rules, the price crashes happened.
Did the SEC just tip off everyone that a massive stock price crash is imminent?
Zerohedge reports in Did the SEC Just Hint at a 7% Market Plunge?:
...the SEC may have blundered yesterday afternoon, when it proposed yet another revision to its market-wide halt rule. And once again, instead of making traders and investors more comfortable that the SEC is capable and in control, the questions have already come pouring in: is the SEC preparing for another massive market crash?
This is what hit the tape from the SEC late yesterday:
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved two proposals submitted by the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) that are designed to address extraordinary volatility in individual securities and the broader U.S. stock market.
The second initiative updates existing market-wide circuit breakers that when triggered, halt trading in all exchange-listed securities throughout the U.S. markets. The existing market-wide circuit breakers were adopted in October 1988 and have been triggered only once, in 1997. The changes lower the percentage-decline threshold for triggering a market-wide trading halt and shorten the amount of time that trading is halted. The exchanges and FINRA will implement these changes by February 4, 2013.
The key word is bolded and underlined: lower. Because as noted above, the upped market-close threshold is irrelevant: should the S&P trade down to 800 on Monday, western civilization will have far bigger problems to worry about than reversing a market crash. It is the tiniest quantized increment that is relevant. Which according to the SEC is now a "mere" 7% to enact a market holiday, either temporary or indefinite.
The market, as of today, has lost money for 2012 (not including the devaluation of the dollar's purchasing power). The Dow Jones Industrial average sits at about $12,110.
I think that, if in the next few weeks, we get hit with a plunge of 800 points in a few minutes, not only will they have to stop the trading, they better get out the life support.
Hot summer in 2012, folks.... And it's just getting started. Got gold?
Yesterday I found a baby Japanese Maple tree growing in a crack in the curb. I have never seen a baby seedling Maple like this before (and had always wanted one!) It took me thirty minutes to rescue it and then I replanted it. I'm going to take care of it and make it into a beautiful bonsai if I can... Or, just grow it and have it as a house plant (trees are difficult inside of houses, but I already have two).
What a wonderful present! Thank you.
Sunday morning in Japan. The weekend in the USA. Have a great one friends!
Hug your kids - and your parents - and tell them that you love them... Give them an extra smile for me!